Sundarbans National Park (India)

Thirty-four young messengers from over 20 different marine World Heritage sites gathered in Sundarbans from October 6th-15th as part of the International Youth Forum Go4BioDiv. The Forum is the largest youth initiative for both IUCN and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and it gives young adults the possibility to engage during the current 11th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity. Here the messengers presented a powerful youth declaration.

Experiencing nature is essential for Go4BioDiv. The iconic Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh are a unique network of seawater and freshwater-ways, fauna and flora, with a strong human-environment interaction. It's the perfect place to be one with nature.

Thank you to all marine site managers for your inspiration and support for this initiative.


In This Issue


Site of the Month: Young Messengers Gather at
Sundarbans National Park

Event of the Month: Marine World Heritage Makes Front Page of World Edition

In the News: First Marine World Heritage Documentary Featured on TV France 3

In the News: St. Kilda and Tubbataha Receive Prestigious International Award

World Heritage Anniversaries



Your Site Managers Website Just Got Better!


The site managers website has been growing since its original launch in June. Many of you offered suggestions for improvement and we listened by re-building it from the ground up. The website now has a fresh new look and is much more user-friendly.



Save the Date



Marine World Heritage Site Managers Conference
October 19-22, 2013
Scandola Reserve, France

It’s official! The second Marine World Heritage Site Managers Conference is being organized and will be a productive meeting and exciting opportunity to share success stories, ask questions and discuss the progress made since we last met in 2010. This year we will concentrate on two themes:
1. Communication and marketing of marine World Heritage value
2. Practical solutions to the challenges of climate change




Funding Opportunities








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Marine World Heritage Makes Front Page of New York Times Online

On November 7th, the Crown Jewels of the Ocean gained unprecedented exposure by appearing on the front page of World Edition adjacent to President Obama's re-election announcement. As part of the ongoing Tides of Time partnership with Jaeger-LeCoultre and the International Herald Tribune, two marine World Heritage sites, Socotra's Archipelago in Yemen and Ogasawara Islands in Japan (click for full stories), were featured in the October and November print editions of the NewYork Times Global Edition. Jaeger-LeCoultre reconfirmed its commitment with another year of Tides of Time for marine World Heritage.



First Marine World Heritage Documentary Featured on TV France 3

The well-known French TV3 series "Thalassa" dedicated, for the first time in their history, a full 25-minute documentary on the network of Marine World Heritage sites. iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa and the Scandola Reserve in France were the two marine world heritage sites selected to represent the "Crown Jewels of the Ocean" in the film. The documentary aired October 5th and reached over 2.5 million viewers across a great variety of French speaking countries in Africa, Europe, and North America. This visibility is moving us toward a greater recognition for the conservation challenges our sites face and ultimately inspire decision-makers to take action where it matters most. The documentary is currently being translated into English and will be available toward the end of this year.

St. Kilda and Tubbataha Receive Prestigious International Awards

St. Kilda - the remotest outpost of the British Isles - has won a major international award recognizing its responsible tourism initiatives. The St. Kilda islands were famously abandoned in 1930 by the last remaining 36 islanders when island life became unsustainable. The site now gets 4,000 tourists a year, double the number from five years ago. "We are absolutely delighted to win such an internationally recognized accolade...We have to get the balance right, as this is an abandoned landscape; it is a matter of conserving and not over-restoring." said Ms. Susan Bain, St. Kildas' site manager.

Tubbataha was awarded the 2012 Silver Award for its Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act. This award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. Tubbataha has given permanence and power to local-level institutions to enable them to confront regional threats, such as illegal fishing, poaching and destructive fishing practices undertaken by foreign vessels. The Act is recognized as an outstanding example of coral reef conservation and a model for action at other coral reefs around the world.

World Heritage Anniversaries

The people of Seychelles are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the declaration of Aldabra Atoll as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's home to the world's largest population of giant tortoises and hosts the Indian Oceans' last flightless bird, the Aldabra Rail. Aldabra was inscribed in 1982, becoming the fifth marine World Heritage Site in the world and the first in Africa. Recently the site has had two major conservation successes, the eradication of invasive feral goat populations and a unique solar energy installation which generates over 95% of Atoll's electricity.

Shark Bay celebrates 21 years of World Heritage status. In 1991, Shark Bay became the first West Australian site to be given World Heritage recognition for its natural beauty, biological diversity, ecological processes and earth's history. Despite global awareness of Shark Bay and its thriving tourism industry, it remains prestine with untouched rust red sand contrasting with clear turquoise water. The Shark Bay Marine Park covers 1500 kilometres of coastline and is home to more than 320 species of marine life including manta rays, whales and turtles. Its vast sea grass meadows also support 10% of the world's dugong population.

Last month, the Wadden Sea celebrated 25 years of conservation. "A highlight of the last 25 years' work was the inscription on the World Heritage List in 2009. The recognition as a World Heritage property by the UNESCO is the highest international "award" a nature area can receive and is a great opportunity to further strengthen the conservation of the Wadden Sea and to enhance the regional development," stated Jens Enemark, the head of the Wadden Sea Secretariat. Click here to read more.



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